By MURRAY BISHOFF and LISA CRAFT
Two Monett industries have been the targets of a sophisticated burglary ring in recent weeks.
One business was hit on Dec. 2, according to Lt. Greg Brandsma of the Monett Police Department. An unknown subjects took blank payroll checks. A second business also hit where payroll checks were also taken.
On Dec. 4, the stolen payroll checks were forged and cashed at two local Monett banks. Surveillance video shows six Hispanic male subjects involved in passing the forged payroll checks.
Forged payroll checks taken from the burglarized Monett businesses were also forged and cashed at two banks in Cassville. These forged payroll checks were passed in the same time period as the forged payroll checks that were passed in Monett.
Investigation reveals a Hispanic male subject attempted to pass one of the forged payroll checks at a bank in Pierce City, but before the transaction was completed the subject left the drive-through window. Investigators are attempting to identify the subjects involved.
Similar incidents where business payroll checks were stolen, forged and cashed have been reported in Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Willard, Nixa, Springfield, Rolla and in the states of N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Police Chief Tim Schweder estimated losses from the two Monett businesses at around $40,000. He told the Monett City Council today that the perpetrators have likely left the area.
Barry-Lawrence Crime Stoppers are offering a reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of subjects involved. Informations can be called to 1-888-635-8477.